Friday, April 21, 2006

Hi, I'm Troy McClure! You might remember me from such films as "Blood Flows Red on The Death Trolley" and "Et tu, Brutus Buckeye-?"

The id and I - Can't drive 55!

So seeing as we are about to be entering "Tiki Bar season" here on The McWeather Channel, I'll keep this post short - like the pitching career of Danny Graves.

I've said it before, I'll (sigh) say it again: Cliff Lee is THE BEST STARTING PITCHER on The Cleveland Indians right now (with or without C.C. Sabathia in the lineup). Not Jake Westbrook. Not Fausto Carmona. But, yes, Cliff Lee - So I'm sorry if you don't feel I'm "qualified" to say that. But I don't have the time nor the patience to fly around in a traffic helicopter for the next 15 years of my life to prove the point...

KRAMER: "The bus is outta control! So I grab him by the collar, I take him out of the seat, I get behind the wheel, and now I'm driving the bus!"


GEORGE COSTANZA: "You're Batman!"

KRAMER: "Yeah, yeah - I am Batman! Then the mugger, he comes to and he starts choking me. So I'm fighting him off with one hand and I kept driving the bus with the other, ya know. Then I managed to open up the door and I kicked him out the door, ya know, with my foot, ya know, at the next stop."

JERRY: "You kept making all the stops-?"

KRAMER: "Well, people kept ringing the bell!"

Speaking of, what the hell is going on in downtown Cleveland-? Some guy gets attacked on one of these new trolleys and the "crackhead media" shows the footage about fifty times or so on the nightly local news-? Yeah, I know, I was a media major at CSU (Concrete State University) - so I know "The Golden Rule" of broadcasting: "If it bleeds, it leads." But even I thought that footage was excessive and unnecessary! And I watch The Shield!

Then you get the atypical "corporate goon" with his "Wink Martindale smile" (Go ahead and Google, "Wink Martindale," kids!) telling everyone that the trolleys are truly safe because they are all equipped with these cameras on board - you know, the cameras that captured the first stabbing on tape and was replayed to us over and over again.

Gee, that makes me feel so much better! At least when I have a butcher's knife sticking out of the side of my neck will be caught on tape. Maybe the RTA can put the picture of my "little trolley adventure" in a Cedar Point keepsake locket for me, so I can cherish and remember it forever.

I understand that there is crime and violence in every city - but don't "play if off" like it's no big deal by putting your stupid "Ryan Seacrest Let's Get Happy Spin" on it.

It's enough to make me want to grab my TIVO and cooler of Blue Moon Belgian Ale and go live in a cave somewhere...

Speaking of TIVO, I just watched the 2-hour return of Alias - and it kicked ass! Jennifer Garner and company were back in a big way, including her double-agent TV mom, Lena Olin, who was smoking! What other show could produce lines like the one Victor Garber uttered to his daughter, Sydney, as he hands her a gun: "Cover your mother. And if she tries anything ...shoot her."

Finally, unless you have been living in a cave, the NFL Draft is on the way - and The Cleveland Browns are on the clock! I'd like to see The Brownies draft Chad Greenway (LB, Iowa) with their #12 pick. Obviously, A.J. Hawk from THE Ohio State University would be THE favorite choice for Cleveland fans - but it would cost too much to trade up for him, and the Browns have too many needs. But, you never know...

That being said, I wouldn't mind at all if they drafted Santonio Holmes, the wide receiver from OSU. Even though the Browns need defense desperately, and wide reciever is the last position they need to draft (again), I can't help but believe that Santonio Holmes is going to be a shining superstar in the NFL.

Oh yeah - did I happen to mention that LeBron is da bomb-? Go CAVS!! (And happy Earth Day!) Now, if you will excuse me, I think I hear my trolley coming...

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Last Temptation of Chris

"I got soul, but I'm not a soldier. I got soul, but I'm not a soldier. I got soul, but I'm not a soldier. I got soul, but I'm not a soldier. I got soul, but I'm not a soldier. I got soul, but I'm not a soldier..."

So, I'd just like to take a few moments and wish anybody and everybody a happy holiday! Although I'm sure there are a potpourri of different "beliefs" amongst my core group of readers, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on my own family, our religious convinctions, and how we, as a McFamily, celebrated this holiday weekend...

Got the family together to participate in our pre-holiday "religious customs." After consulting with our beloved and trusted family witch doctor down at our local parish, we are strongly advised to sacrifice a virgin, by tossing her into a volcano to "appease a vengeful god," Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld (the Notorious General S.O.D.).

We enjoy a pre-brunch celebration and luncheon by discussing some spirited "science vs. faith" issues of the day, including my strong belief that, "Gravity, schmavity! The Earth is flat, and we all know it! Now please pass the tater tots..."

After we paste some leeches on my sickly supermodel sister to cure her bulemia, we are off to recreate The Immaculate Conception - we kidnap Kellie Pickler, an American Idol contestant, and impregnate her with Barry Manilow's love child, successfully completing the "final task" of our Scientology Scavenger Hunt!

Read some passages and sing some hymns from "The Good Book" - the good book being "The Da Vinci Code." (If our good book doesn't make The New York Times' Bestseller List, or Tom Hanks isn't starring in it, we ain't buying it!)

Watch repeated viewings of our favorite religious movie, The Lord of The Rings, with hushed anticipation - and jubilation - as Gandalf the Grey ressurects into Gandalf the White Wizard!

Shall scream out "The New Testament" feverishly from The King LeBron James Bible: "Thou Shall Not Showboat - Unless The Game Is On The Line - Then Take The Damn Shot!"

Finally, we enjoy a scrumptious holiday feast as a family ...down at the Wal-Mart food court ...before "passing over" into The Electronics Department for big, BIG savings.

The id and I - Chicken Soup for The Satirical Soul.

"That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight - Losing my religion. Trying to keep up with you. And I don't know if I can do it. Oh no, I've said too much. I haven't said enough..."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sorry, Charlie! But I just found a Golden Ticket in my "Pronk Candy Bar" ('Cause I ain't no holla back blog! I ain't no holla back blog!)

The id and I - Donald Trump says we're going to be a big success ("Now, go on, get out of here - go - out!")

So I was watching The Sports Time Ohio Network the other day - the night the lights went out in Tribe Town. And, sure, I thought the same thing you were all thinking: If Larry Dolan can remember to pay Grady Sizemore and Jhonny Peralta - then why can't he remember to pay his own electric bill-???

But I'm sure there was a very logical explanation for the STO Death Star's power outage - like the Ewoks blew it up or something. But, thankfully, the power came back on and the show did go on. I have nothing against STO - it's pretty good so far (at least until they raise the rates on my cable bill).

I just got some extra time during the blackout to gather my thoughts and think about how time marches on: Grady Sizemore has become the "new" Kenny Lofton, Jhonny Peralta is the next Omar Vizquel, Victor Martinez is filling the rather large shoes of Sandy Alomar, and Travis Hafner looks like the long-lost son of our hometown hero, Jim Thome.

I fondly remember standing on the steps of the work-in-progress known only as Jacob's Field during my stint as sports editor for my college newspaper at Cleveland State University - and how I felt like John Locke discovering the mysterious "hatch" on Lost for the very first time... what is this thing-?

But I'm still not sure about my own future in the Cleveland Universe, however - am I next Conan O'Brien-? The next Mitch Albom-? Just some schmoe with a blog-? Or the next "Super Host" in a long line of multimedia Ziggy's-??? Maybe all or none of the above...

I really can't blame The Cleveland Indians and their owner for trying to make a(nother) buck - I'm just as shameless as they are in a lot of ways.

I've recently added some Google ads to my beloved blog, which I'm sure is causing "The Bubble Boy" from Seinfeld to turn over in his bubble and shout out: "What a sell-out!"

But I'm not cut out for the "working world" - in the conventional dollars and sense. I've tried to get a "grown-up" job over the years and it just never seemed to work out. I remember interviewing with Liggett-Stashower a few years back as an advertising copywriter. When the creative director asked me about advertisements that I liked best, I enthusiastically responded: "The Sports Center ones from ESPN - those are great! Just absolutely brilliant in my mind! The blending of comedy with self-deprecating humor that turned their anchors into clever cartoonish characters on the small screen was pure genius..."

And that's when the creative director just sort of rolled his eyes and sighed: "Well, that's all well and good on a larger landscape - but we're looking for ideas that hit their target on a local level. You know, stuff that resonates with the people of Cleveland. Things like the jingles used for Schwebel's bread or Ruggle's ice cream... stuff like that."

With that, I packed up "my stuff," thanked "the man" for "the opportunity," and proceeded on my merry way. I knew then and there that if I was ever going to do anything in this town, that I was going to have to do it my way ...or no way at all (quote the Loverboy nevermore).

So, here I go (again) - on my own. Going down the only road I've ever know. Like a moth to the flame - like a banker to The Barenaked Ladies' concert at Blossom. Back to the future, I sit and ponder what to do to get my comedy flux capacitor back in gear.

Sure, I could add one of those "tip jars" to my blog - but those just seem to be the 21st century equivalent of a "cyber-panhandler" (not that there's anything wrong with that!). But it just doesn't seem right (for me, at least) - it feels too much like that homeless guy who stands underneath the digital clock at Huntington Bank begging for money before he calls it a day - and probably heads home to his estate in Pepper Pike and large-screen Plasma TV - to count his change.

So, instead, I sell my soul to Google and tell my readers: "It puts the Google ads on it's skin, or it gets the hose again!!!"

I guess the bottom line is this: It's not about the money. Sure, I like capitalism as much as the next guy. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to roll around in a big pile of green money to entertain the masses. But, honestly, I just enjoy the art of writing and comedy. Whether it's sitting around with my friends at a local sports bar, drinking and laughing about the everyday absurdities of our world - or on a slightly larger level. As long as I can pay my bar bill at the end of the night, and I don't end up living under a bridge, eating discarded fishbones off the lid of a garbage can like Sylvester the Cat, it's all good with me!

But, on the other hand, while playing this pointless game of Cleveland Chutes N' Ladders - I don't intend to end up stuck in the Butterscotch Swamp as I navigate my way through this Cuyahoga Candy Land of Doom (tm)...

At this time, a lot of "media people" I know would probably be wise to step in front of one of those new Cleveland trolleys and wait to get knocked into tomorrow - and the last thing they would see is a banner for The Great Lakes Brewing Co. coming at them, sternly stating: "HOLY MOSES! DRINK OUR FRESHLY-BREWED BELGIAN ALE RESPONSIBLY - AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE!"

But that's not me - I enjoy my life too much (on every level). And that includes writing as well.

So, in my marvelous world, I choose to let my imagination do all the work - and let things come to me. In my Marvel Universe, I have faith that Travis Hafner would "Hulk out" at the last minute and toss that Cleveland trolley out of the way before it turns me into ranting road kill.

McMe: "Travis Hafner! You - you saved my life!"

TRAVIS HAFNER: "Pronk smash puny humans - and their tiny trolleys! PRONK SMASH!!!"

McMe: "Oh, Incredible Pronk - how can I ever repay you-?"

TRAVIS HAFNER: "Pronk no like Larry Dolan jokes - make Pronk angry! Fill Pronk with rage! You make Larry Dolan jokes no more!"

McMe: "Uh, yeah, sure. Whatever, dude!"

And, with that, I imagine "The Incredible Pronk" would bounce off into the Cleveland skyline - leaving me to, once again, gather my thoughts and assess my place in The Universe.

Hey, what can I say-? It's a living! (Thanks for stopping by The id and I! We thank you for your patronage!)

"I knew you - before the west was won. And I, heard you - say the past was much more fun! You go your way, I go mine - but I'll see you next time. It's all been done! Woo hoo hoo! It's all been done! Woo hoo hoo! It's all been done - before..."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hey, Food Network Fascists! Guess what-? You just GOT SERVED! (Or, um, what flatware goes best with Chief Wahoo?)

The id and I - The Food Network can kiss my grits!

So, recently, I find I can no longer talk about sports with people. And why-? Because everyone is just so damn infatuated with this Food Network of theirs, that's why!

"So," I begin innocently enough, "how about that Tribe-? Red hot, aren't they-? And, hey, how about that LeBron James, huh-? And those Cleveland Browns aren't too shabby either - you know what I'm saying?"

And then the ugliness begins: "Eh, yeah, I guess," a colleague of mine will shrug. "I haven't really been paying attention to them all that much. I spend most of my free time watching The Food Network..."

And that's when my face suddenly turns as white as my ass, just like Oprah must have felt after finding out that her beloved fallen idol, James Frey, was a sham - and my soul quietly shatters into a million little pieces.

"How's that again-?" I stammer, clutching my heart like Fred Sanford, as my male co-worker suddenly looks at me like I'm a modern-day Fred Flintstone who just punched out at Mr. Slate's rock quarry for the day, with my stone-tablet timecard clutched tightly in my neanderthal-like hand.

"The Food Network," he explains further. "I can't get enough of it! You really should check it out, Chris. It can really teach you alot about cooking-"

And that's when I pause, all dazed and confused. What do I need to know about cooking-? I mean, there is this amazing new invention, after all - I think it's called: THE MICROWAVE.

And then my male co-worker, realizing my pathetic plight, starts to talk down to me like the single guy simpleton that I am - with Chef Boyardee for brains. "You really need to learn how to cook, Chris-"

He then proceeds to babble on and on about "The Greatness" that is The Food Network - going into great detail about his favorite shows like "Cooking with Stuff," "Your Utensils and You" and, finally, "Take a Wok on The Wild Side."

So, being beat into submission like a sap, I reluctantly go home and turn on this "Food Network" of his to watch the poster-child for anti-famine feminism, Rachael Ray. If The Food Network Nerds were Trekkies, I'm guessing Rachael Ray would be their "Mr. Spock."

I still don't understand why I'm supposed to burn my Brady Quinn Notre Dame jersey and follow this woman to the bitter ends of the earth-? Why do I need to know how to cook, I wonder, when I can simply tap "Big Al" from Happy Days on the shoulder at the local supermarket and he'll nod sympathetically towards me, holding up his Encore Family-Size portions of salisbury steaks, and whisper reassuringly in my ear: "I'll be over for dinner around six."

So I sit and listen to this woman go on and on about the profuse importance of parsley. But how am I supposed to let this sultry chef into my life - when she won't even let anyone into her kitchen-??? I mean, does she live in there or something-? I don't even see any other doors that lead into other rooms in her television house. I think even Bert and Ernie adjourned to other rooms of their home on occassion!

But on and on she goes, mixing, sifting and stirring. And, yet, I find myself unable to open those Food Network freezer doors with her - afraid the only "missing ingredients" I might find in there ...are severed human heads.

Back to my male co-worker whose voice appears out of nowhere like Obi-Wan Kenobi: "You really do need to learn how to cook, Chris, if you want to impress a woman."

I'm sorry, but the last SERIOUS relationship I had with a woman ended badly - and that woman's name was ...Ms. Pac-Man. Ms. Pac-Man was the "Gloria Steinem of the video game world" and she asserted her independence by flaunting her pink bow of feminism over the ghosts, "Inky, Blinky, Pinky ...and Clyde" - leaving her ex-husband, Pac-Man, to fend for himself - and die alone, broken and hungry, in the neon-blue gutter.

Ms. Pac-Man didn't NEED a man to cook for her - oh, no! She was a "modern woman" who could "pay for her own meals" by gobbling up those delicious bonus points disguised as fruits, pretzels and other assorted snacks. You go, girl!

Sure, Ms. Pac-Man probably opened the door for Hillary Clinton, but where did that leave her fella, Pac-Man-? I'll tell you where it left him: Bitter and alone, probably getting drunk every night and listening to old "Level 42" songs - that's where!

That's why I always eat out, now, and let my friends throw the dinner parties. After all, the last "dinner party" I threw was catered by Buffalo Wild Wings - and, oddly enough, it didn't seem to go over very well with my snooty guests. Go figure!

So, you'll excuse me if I don't jump on this whole Food Network bandwagon - I'll just call Domino's and have The Noid over for dinner instead.

Bon Appetit, Blinky!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Opening Day 2006 for The Cleveland Indians: Or is it too late to trade C.C. Sabathia - to Sea World?

The id and I - It's kind of like Nashville - with a tan.

Opening Day 2006 for The Cleveland Indians is here! Mike and Mike in The Morning from ESPN 2 will be broadcasting live at Pickwick and Frolick - who says nobody wants to come to Cleveland-???

Let's set this thing right: I think C.C. Sabathia is an extremely talented baseball player. He has all the ability to be a superstar in this league. But coming from this blogging guy who likes to eat, drink and be merry, I can say this: C.C. Sabathia needs to get in shape. The difference between him and me is that C.C. is getting paid millions of dollars to play the game of baseball - and I do not (although it wouldn't hurt me to pick up an Ab-Cruncher once in a while, as well, folks).

Everyone involved with The Cleveland Indians - and their organization - needs to address this and stop tap-dancing around the issue: C.C. Sabathia is out of shape and it is hurting his game.

I could care less about his off-center baseball cap or his bling. But, as a baseball fan, C.C. Sabathia needs to start getting involved in some off-season conditioning to improve upon the talent he already does possess. It's just that simple!

Baseball players are supposed to "let themselves go" after their careers are over - not during the height of it. So, come on, C.C. - Cleveland loves you! Get your act together and show us what you can do while you are still young enough to live up to your potential! You owe yourself - as well as the loyal Tribe fans - nothing less.

In other news, I actually have Sportstime Ohio on my cable system - finally! And although, I'm sure, The Cleveland Indians are giving themselves the "self-congratulatory corporate reach-around" in regards to their new Death Star, I have to say this, going all Darth Vader on you: "Don't be too proud of this TECHNOLOGICAL TERROR you have created, commander! The power to destroy a (FOX Sports Net) is nothing compared to the power of The Force."

So, hurry up and get well, C.C. - Cleveland needs you back in the lineup to win a championship. Hey, man - if Kirstie Alley can do it ...then so can you. Go Tribe!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The 2006 Cleveland Browns NFL schedule: The Big Easy or Taking a Big Bite out of McGruff The Crime Dawg's Ass-???

So, the 2006 NFL league schedule for The Cleveland Browns was released today, and here it is courtesy of some superior investigating reporting on my part (in other words, I swiped it from Yahoo! sports):

Sept. 10 New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Sept. 17 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Sept. 24 Baltimore, 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 1 at Oakland, 4:15 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Carolina, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 BYE
Oct. 22 Denver, 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 29 New York Jets, 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 5 at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 12 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Nov. 19 Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Nov. 26 Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Dec. 3 Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Dec. 7 at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
Dec. 17 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Dec. 24 Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Dec. 31 at Houston, 1 p.m.

Okay, it's not a bad schedule, as our beloved Cleveland Brownies are taking on some interesting adversaries. But I just have one BIG question: How is it that the Browns are excluded from the Monday Night Football festivities-???

Now, granted, most SANE people would be happy to be as far away from Joe Theismann as possible (how this obnoxious know-nothing blowhard won an Emmy Award is still one of The X-Files that I will never truly solve... Now he's a commentator on Monday Night Football - oh, the humanity! Somebody make the bad man stop!!!).

And, it is completely reasonable to understand that the Browns did not have the best overall record (6-10) last season - but still! The other NFL teams that "made the cut" are absurd: The Oakland Raiders, The Minnesota Vikings (now without Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss, mind you!), The Green Bay Packers - TWICE!!! (with or without the waffling Brett Favre they're still going to blow) and (gulp) ...The Arizona Cardinals!

Even the inept New Orleans Saints are on Monday Night Football this season! (Which is obviously a pity nod to them, but after all that city has been subjected to this last year, the people of New Orleans deserve it - and the NFL nation will welcome it.)

And even the dreaded Baltimore Ravens are on the Monday Night Football schedule - how did this happen? Need I remind everyone out there in "NFL land" that the woeful Ravens also finished a humbling (6-10) record last season, as well - and their final loss of the season came at the hands of The Cleveland Browns!

The Cleveland Browns are on the upswing - they have an exciting new management/coaching staff with Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel. They have even more exciting possibilites with talent like Charlie Frye, Braylon Edwards, Joe Jurevicius, Willie McGinest and (hopefully) Kellen Winslow, Jr. So, NFL, what's not to love-?

The Cleveland Browns had one of the BEST free-agency signings this off-season in all of the National Football League - and they haven't even made their mark in this April's NFL draft yet!

The Arizona Cardinals-???

So, puh-leaze, Mr. NFL/MNF schedule-makers (to quote an old Irish McProverb): "Don't piss in my face and tell me it's raining!"

The Cleveland Browns have faithful fans and devoted followers across the nation that deserve better than this - and they should be outraged by this slap in the face, as well.

Okay, I'm "over it" like Hurley is over "Dharma Initiative Peanut Butter" - Forget it, it's a Lost thing. So, yeah, anyway - Go Browns!